"Turn trash into gold, gold into love, love into a purifying stream, and surround the globe with it."
It all began when five forward-thinking entrepreneurs with ties to the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation came to a realization about themselves, and about the planet. This realization would soon change their lives forever, and by extension, change the lives of many more for the better.
Mr. Huang is chairman of Texma International, a large textile company with factories in the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Shenzhen, and has offices in Taipei, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. He discovered Tzu Chi through his wife, Li Shi, who is a dedicated Tzu Chi volunteer.
Tragedy struck in the summer of 1991 when days of continuous, torrential rainfall inundated Eastern China, impacting approximately 220 million people. This was when Mr. Huang took to action, and participated in the first-ever international disaster relief mission organized by the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation in China.
With the help of his Shanghai office, he was able to provide clothing and blankets to survivors, warming not only their bodies, but their hearts amidst such a frightening time.
“When you visit a village and local people grasp you with their coarse hands and look into your eyes, it is very moving. You feel complete inside. The Master says that your achievements are not based on how successful your business is or how much you earn; instead, it is about how much you can do to assist others. If you do it for yourself, it means nothing. If you can accomplish by giving and asking for nothing in return, then you will be free of suffering and accumulate spiritual wealth."
- Huang Huade, DA.AI Technology Chairman
It was after this experience that Mr. Huang began to regularly devote his time and efforts to Tzu Chi, and ultimately visited Tzu Chi’s founder, Dharma Master Cheng Yen, in-person.
Master Cheng Yen has inspired thousands to become more mindful of humanity’s impact on Mother Earth over the years, and indeed, continues to encourage society to “coexist with the Earth.” One way in which she moved crowds of people to positive action was during her enduring 1990 speech on upholding environmental protection, where she advocated proper recycling at home. Tzu Chi volunteers are thus committed to environmental and social responsibility, and practice an environmentally friendly lifestyle through conservation of resources, vegetarian eating, and sincere compassion for all.
After speaking with Master Cheng Yen and meeting like-minded Tzu Chi volunteers, Mr. Huang was inspired to do more - for others, and for the planet - and with people who shared this noble goal right beside him.
The next course of action was clear in their minds: they needed to do something about the rapidly growing problem that is plastic pollution.
Statistics state that in 2016, the world's plastic production totaled approximately 335 million metric tons. Furthermore, humans purchase roughly 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute in total. However, only a staggering 23% of such bottles are recycled in the U.S. Thus, the solution:
Tzu Chi's combined missions of charity and environmental protection provided an additional objective for these entrepreneurs' humanitarian missions. The Clothing Research and Development Group of the Tzu Chi International Humanitarian Aid Association (TIHAA) had proposed developing fabric made from eco-friendly materials since 2006. To actively promote the recycling of plastic bottles, these entrepreneurial volunteers in the Tzu Chi International Humanitarian Aid Association formed the DA.AI Technology Company in 2008 with Master Cheng Yen's approval.
Since its conception, DA.AI Technology has been dedicated to helping resolve rising environmental crises through both innovative and compassionate means globally.
Indeed, DA.AI Technology’s product innovation begins with the many extraordinary individuals who put their whole heart into building a more responsible, fair, and humane world for all. Brother Ah of Tzu Chi’s Neihu Recycling Education Center in Taipei, and tens of thousands of Tzu Chi volunteers like him, for example, have dedicated their time to protecting and improving the environment. They collect and sort raw polyethylene terephthalate (PET) materials, which are then transformed into DA.AI Tech yarn, and woven into an array of high-quality textiles - and without increasing the total PET volume.
Through its innovative reclamation process, DA.AI Technology produces eco-products such as clothing, backpacks, bedding, and other everyday textile products. As a result of these staunch efforts, DA.AI Technology has been acknowledged as one of the world’s first non-profit social enterprises, and all proceeds from the eco-products created by DA.AI directly benefit Tzu Chi’s humanitarian missions worldwide.
In fact, one of DA.AI’s most well-recognized products - which Mr. Huang helped develop - is a blanket made from recycled PET plastic bottles. These eco-blankets with love in every stitch are the very ones that Tzu Chi volunteers have distributed to survivors during disaster relief missions since 2006. DA.AI's durable items are likewise used by Tzu Chi volunteers as they travel through disaster areas, keeping them safe and sound.
“The point of DA.AI Technology’s sales is not to do trade, but to use clothing to educate people that recycling plastic is great but not using it is better.”
- James Lee, President and CEO of DA.AI Technology
The goal, first and foremost, is to reduce the amount of plastic produced and limit society’s usage of plastic products - predominantly single-use products like plastic water bottles. However, DA.AI offers an answer to the excessive amount of municipal plastic that has accumulated to choke our oceans, litter our communities, and harm our wildlife. DA.AI thus reduces the burden that discarded plastic waste items puts on Mother Earth, and activates a new life-cycle for them. Each strand of yarn derived from these unwanted plastic products is woven into an expression of Great Love joined together by all those who made this endeavor possible.
So, what really is DA.AI Technology? It’s compassion for the planet, and for all sentient beings.